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If anyone has the time to nitpick...

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  #1  
Old 04-19-2007, 09:28 AM
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mellyrose mellyrose is offline
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If anyone has the time to nitpick...

....please do!

A good friend of mine came over last night and she loves my photog/retouch work so I decided to shoot some photos of her. This was our favorite shot so I did a quick retouch on it. I actually love how it turned out, and wound up adding a bit of fun with a more neon feel. I also am finally delving into the scary world of retouching hair...something I've tried to avoid in the past, so that is something I'd like feedback on.

I'd like opinions on the retouch itself and on whether the higher contrast version suits the photo better. Whichever I decide on will likely go on my website.

Thanks!
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File Type: jpg Caroline01v2beforeweb.jpg (84.1 KB, 106 views)
File Type: jpg Caroline01v2web.jpg (99.4 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg Carolineneonweb1.jpg (98.1 KB, 102 views)
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2007, 09:49 AM
Ant Ant is offline
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Re: If anyone has the time to nitpick...

...............

Last edited by Ant; 12-15-2007 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:11 AM
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mellyrose mellyrose is offline
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Re: If anyone has the time to nitpick...

lol @ wtf texture. Thanks! Will work on it.
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:30 AM
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mellyrose mellyrose is offline
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Re: If anyone has the time to nitpick...

Is this any better? I'm finding it hard to maintain texture in her cheeks and forehead b/c there were many stray hairs, but I think I made some improvements...

I also fixed the contour of her nose and shape of her eyes and eyebrow.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2007, 11:51 AM
Ant Ant is offline
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Re: If anyone has the time to nitpick...

all that texture you are so wanting to rid her of is fine texture for the most part. She is way too yellow also. You have removed her cheek shadow and have in turn given her less shape and she needs all she can get. Go closer and just get those hairs that are bothering you. That booger like dark spot near her nostril is still bothersome. that neck line need not be so dark.

stop 'degrunging' - it's a horrible method.
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Old 04-19-2007, 04:26 PM
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mellyrose mellyrose is offline
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Re: If anyone has the time to nitpick...

Can you explain what you mean by degrunging? Are you referring to a techinque you think I am using or a filter of some sort? All I do is clone at low opacities for the most part.

Also, I am the first person to accept constructive crit...I ask for it and absorb as much as I can, but you seem to be handing it out without offering any sort of advice technique wise to help me fix the problems. Am I doing anything right?!
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:06 PM
Ant Ant is offline
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Re: If anyone has the time to nitpick...

There is some tutorial here call degrunging. I thought you might be using it, but come to think of it, if you were, at least something in the image as far as texture would be sharp, sorta.

"I'd like opinions on the retouch itself...."

I remarked above about the retouching.

Here's my advice: stop doing what you are doing. That will fix the 'problems' with the image. This is a critique forum, not a "How do I do this? forum"

A lot of retouching is evaluating what needs to be done and continuing that evaluation throughout the retouching process as things come up. As certain areas are improved, others stand out. This is a very detail oriented profession. You removed all shape and texture from her skin but left fly-aways at the end of her bangs near the edge of the photo and the ends of her hair near the neck need not be there at all and are distracting. The fingers lend nothing to the shot and the image would look nicer without them and the red dot.

You identified that the nose had a spot that would look better pushed in. You saw that the teeth needed whitening. I like placing that piece of hair to fill in the bang area. You were going the right direction when you attacked the neck/chin area. You just went nuts with the skin and the color. Don't clone with a low opacity. You might as well just blur the whole thing. You can't remove any trace of skin texture or dark circles and expect it to look good, because regardless of "taste" or whatnot it looks like a rabbit with a pancake on it's head if it's just wrong. Peoples faces don't not have some shape and texture. If in your 'improving' of some areas makes other areas or that area look other than real life, you aren't improving it. Just composite a paper bag over the head and be done with it. (make sure to check the edges on your mask and get the lighting and perspective right).

Look around. Be critical of your own work. REALLY SEE how things are and what has been done before you. Then go back to your work and reevaluate.

Very curious that you were so against the Carrie Underwood album cover that you posted a thread on it and then you do this 'retouch'.

I'm glad you like the image. You asked.......
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:22 PM
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mellyrose mellyrose is offline
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Re: If anyone has the time to nitpick...

All I was saying, was that it seemed that you threw a lot of insult rather than crit, that's all. You've said good things about other another photo or 2 of mine, so now one of them you don't like and you literally tore it apart and generalized what kind of artist I am? I don't think that's fair. I do different things with different photos. Usually I lean toward being extremely natural with my results, and that's been pointed out in my other photos. I realize this is off-topic from my thread and I'll end it there.

I just wish I could get some opinions from others....
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:53 AM
Syd Syd is offline
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Re: If anyone has the time to nitpick...

Don't get upset by Ant's comments. His criticism was accurate albeit blunt. His 'sergeant major dressing down' approach to criticism has its place and is no doubt fueled by his passion for his work. At any rate don't take it as a personal attack on your character and try to see what you can learn from it.

My advice:

1. Before you start a retouch decide what needs to be done e.g. remove fly-away hair, correct colour, remove blemishes, darken background, etc. To this purpose you can make a layer above the original, and much like Ant did on your retouch, scribble notes to yourself. This you can then turn off and refer to it from time to time to see what you have accomplished. A 'checklist' as it were. It is also possible you might want to add new things to it as you progress.

2. Don't blur skin. It is only going to look blurred. Don't use the clone tool at low opacities. There is a common misconception that if used at a low opacity the clone tool will somehow be less destructive. In fact quite the opposite is true. It has the same effect as blurring.

3. Learn all you can about the Dodge and Burn Technique. It is by far the best way of improving skin and leaving it natural at the same time. There is a tutorial on this forum that you can start with.

4. Don't be so obsessed with the skin that you forget about other things in the photo - like the 'popping eye' in this case, the fly-away hair and other distracting irregularities.


Perhaps others could add to this. I am not going to comment on the retouch as it really is too small to determine accurately what you have done. It has a yellow colour cast though - you could have intended that though as you didn't try to change that in your retouch. Maybe you could post the higher res versions for us to look at. Finally, while this may not be your best retouch, I like your other work. I think you have a good eye for a photo and I look forward to seeing more of your submissions.

Sincerely Syd
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:40 PM
TheVeed TheVeed is offline
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Re: If anyone has the time to nitpick...

Syd brings up a lot of good points, overall.

From a quick glance at the image, I just think it's too saturated in yellow. Maybe bring it down a notch? I think it's a step in the right direction, and you seem to have a good understanding of Photoshop and retouching.
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